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Scientists who Changed the World

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Last updated date: 27th May 2024
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An Introduction to the World of Science

History is full of scientists who changed the world. Famous scientists made enormous contributions to humankind. There are different types of scientists, and based on their research and work, they are categorised. In Physics, many scientists made remarkable contributions to the world, which are irreplaceable to date; for example, Thomas Alva Edison invented the electric light bulb, which became an essential part of our day-to-day life. In this article, we will discuss some of the scientist’s information who dedicated their lives to invention and research for fruitful results.


Who is a Scientist?

The word scientist is a general term used to describe someone who researches and examines numerous aspects of the physical world to understand better how things work and function.


There are several specialisations of 'scientist', and depending on which field of study one chooses to follow, the work will vary greatly. Each scientist, however, follows 'the scientific method', which may be a strict set of rules that ensure all discoveries are factual and not simply speculation.


List of Scientists who Contributed to Physics

Here is a list of some renowned scientists who contributed a significant part to Physics:


  • Vikram Sarabhai: He was popularly referred to as the father of the Indian space program and played a major role in the establishment of ISRO (Indian space research Organisation).

  • C.V. Raman: He also discovered the Raman effect and won a Nobel prize for this theory.

  • William Gilbert hypothesised that the earth is a big magnet.

  • Archimedes: He discovered the laws of levers and pulleys and discovered one of the most vital ideas in physics.


Some of the famous scientists' names and photos will be discussed further in this article. A few famous Indian scientists' names include C.V. Raman, Vikram Sarabhai, Homi J. Bhabha and many more.


Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

Isaac Newton, in full Sir Isaac Newton, was born on December 25, 1642, in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, England, and died on March 20, 1727, in London. Isaac Newton’s discoveries created a set off for future developments in science.


Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton


His innovations are as follows.


  • Newton’s three laws of motion are the primary foundation for modern classical mechanics.

  • The discovery of gravitational force predicts the force of attraction and movement of heavy objects in our space.

  • The discovery of calculus is another breakthrough, a mathematical tool, that aids the precise analytical and logical treatment of the physical world.


Isaac Newton is one of the greatest mathematicians and physicists of all time.


Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

Thomas Edison, in full Thomas Alva Edison, was born on February 11, 1847, in Milan, Ohio, the U.S., and died on October 18, 1931, in West Orange, New Jersey.


Thomas Edison


Thomas Edison


Thomas Edison made a lot of important inventions and discoveries. They are as follows:


  • The carbon rheostat

  • Discovered thermionic emission

  • Discovered incandescent light

  • Invented the motion picture camera

  • The fluorescent electric lamp


Edison has been called “America’s greatest inventor.” He developed many devices in fields like electric power generation and mass communication. He was one of the scientists who applied the principles of organised science and teamwork to the process of invention. He worked with many researchers and employees.


Nikolas Tesla (1856-1943)

Nikola Tesla was born in Smiljan, Croatia, in 1856 and died on 7 January 1943. Nikola Tesla's inventions brought numerous technological breakthroughs throughout history. He contributed innovations that even continue to impact our day-to-day lives.


Nicolas Tesla

Nicolas Tesla


His inventions include:


  • AC Power

  • Tesla Coil

  • Shadowgraph

  • Magnifying Transmitter

  • Tesla Turbine

  • Neon Lamp,

  • Radio

  • Induction Motor

  • Hydroelectric Power

  • Radio Controlled Boat


Tesla created a tower using his infamous coils, which shot electric sparks through the air and the electricity is circulated through the coils by alternating current. Many of Nikola Tesla’s inventions went unrecognised. Others are lost as his notes were destroyed by fire.


C.V. Raman (1888-1970)

Sir Chandrashekhar Venkata Raman was an Indian scientist whose work was prestigious in the growth of science in India. He was the recipient of the Nobel prize for Physics in 1930 for the invention of the phenomenon of scattering of light.


C.V. Raman


C.V. Raman


In 1947, he was named director of the Raman Research Institute there and in 1961, became a member of the Pontifical Academy of Science. He contributed to the building up of nearly every Indian research institution in his time, and founded the Indian Journal of Physics and also the Indian Academy of Sciences.


Homi J. Bhabha (1909-1966)

Homi Jehangir Bhabha was an Indian-born nuclear physicist who created vital contributions to quantum theory and cosmic radiation. He is known as the “father of the Indian nuclear program.”


He was the first Chairman of The Atomic Energy Commission of India. Bhabha’s 1st paper, “The Absorption of Cosmic Radiation”, in 1933 earned him a 3 year Isaac Newton studentship 1934.


Homi J. Bhabha


Homi J. Bhabha


Bhabha received several awards and accolades from India as well as foreign universities and he was an associate of varied societies of science as well as the American National Academy of Sciences. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1954.


Bhabha remained a bachelor throughout his life. His hobbies were painting, classical music and opera, and botany. He was killed in mysterious circumstances, aged 56, when Air India Flight 101 crashed on January 24, 1966 close to Mont Blanc in Switzerland. In quantum physics, the cross-section of electron-positron scattering was renamed “Bhabha scattering” in his honour.


Satyendra Nath Bose (1894-1974)

Satyendra Nath Bose was born on January 1, 1894, in Kolkata, India, and died on February 4, 1974, in Calcutta. He was an adviser to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and later became a Fellow of the Royal Society.


Satyendra Nath Bose

Satyendra Nath Bose


He was a polymath, whose knowledge spans a substantial number of subjects and worked on many research and development committees in sovereign India. Bose’s work led to many scientific breakthroughs, including the discovery of the particle accelerator and the God particle.


Stephen Hawking (1942-2018)

Stephen Hawking was born in Oxford, England on January 8, 1942, and died in March 2018. His contribution to the field of theoretical physics is remarkable. Dr Hawking is best known for his discovery that black holes emit radiation that can be detected by special instrumentation.


Stephen Hawkings

Stephen Hawkings


His work was on the characteristics of black holes. He authored many publications like “300 Years of Gravity”. He also wrote books such as A Brief History of Time and Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays.


Scientist Names and their Discoveries

Year

Scientist Name

Discoveries

1687

Isaac Newton

Law Of motion

1880

Thomas Edison

Thermionic emission

1890

Nicolas Tesla

Alternating current

1928

C.V. Raman

Raman effect

1935

Homi J. Bhabha

Electron-positron scattering

1920

Satyendra Nath Bose

Boson

1974

Stephen Hawkings

Black hole emit radiation


Summary

There is no doubt that all the scientific discoveries and inventions to date have revolutionised every aspect of our life. It's powerfully influenced the way we predict and the way we lead our lives. Owing to scientific inventions, we were able to find answers to queries that we thought we might never answer.

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FAQs on Scientists who Changed the World

1. Who is Ada Lovelace and what was her contribution?

Augusta Ada Byron, Ada Lovelace was born on 10th December 1815 and died on November 27, 1852, in Marylebone, London. She is the first one to create a program for a prototype of a digital computer. She is the first computer programmer. She is the first tech visionary. She suggested the data input that can program the machine to calculate Bernoulli numbers, which is considered the first computer program. She also predicted that analytical machines could be used to compose music, produce graphics, and be useful to science. Now if we observe it became a success.

2. Who discovered radium? Write a brief note about the scientist.

Marie Curie. Maria Salomea Sklodowska Marie Curie was born on November 7, 1867, in Warsaw and died on  July 4, 1934, because of aplastic anaemia. She discovered two chemical elements. The first element realised was polonium. The second one is radium which is several times more radioactive than uranium. It is also found that radium’s compounds are luminous and are a source of heat, emitting continuously without any chemical reaction taking place.

3. Who discovered the big bang theory?

Georges Lemaitre, a Belgian cosmologist and Catholic priest discovered the big bang theory. Lemaitre was born in 1894 in Charleroi, Belgium. He was a devoted teacher who enjoyed the company of students, however, he preferred to work alone. The theory, accepted by nearly all astronomers nowadays, was a radical departure from scientific orthodoxy in the 1930s. Many astronomers at the time were still uncomfortable with the thought that the universe is expanding. That the entire observable universe of galaxies began with a bang appeared preposterous.